DULUTH - A small local Catholic school is planning a huge celebration Sunday to give back to the residents of Duluth, where it opened last year.
Notre Dame Academy is having its Family FunFest, an all-day Christian music concert and carnival. It will feature two prominent national Christian music acts: Superchic[k] and eLi.
The event will be free, but attendees will have to pay for some of the attractions. It will feature eight inflatable rides, a petting zoo, barbecue, a silent auction, art activities and face painting.
Parent Fred Rosenkampff came up with the idea as a different kind of annual school event. He had experience putting together other Christian concerts and thought it would be enjoyable for everyone who attended.
"Most schools do silent auctions or private events. And we wanted to do something where we were really trying to give back to the Duluth community. We just wanted to do something that was encompassing of the school by having Christian bands, but letting the whole community be involved," Rosenkampff said.
The headlining band, Superchic[k], is nationally recognized among Christian music artists. They were voted "Best Live Band" by Contemporary Christian Music magazine. The Chicago-based group combines rap, rock and R&B to create music that Rosenkampff said is comparable to No Doubt. Their songs have been featured in many Disney movies and in "Legally Blonde."
Christian singer eLi, who will be opening for them, is also frequently played on The Fish radio station. The local artists who will be performing are Silver Rain, Salah, Paul Tate and Deep Blue C.
"Both of the headliner bands are very upbeat, and the parents and kids will really enjoy their music," Rosenkampff said. "Superchic[k] sings mainly from a perspective of growing up in a world that can be both rewarding and difficult for girls. ELi speaks of many issues of today from a Christian perspective."
Family FunFest will be co-sponsored by many different businesses, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Curiously Wrought, Big League Party Rentals, Hogan Construction, Bank of North Georgia, Maximum Dirt, Verizon Wireless, Party City, 94.9 Lite FM, Atlanta Christian Family magazine and Gwinnett Life magazine.
School officials said the purpose of the event is not to raise money but to provide entertainment for parents, kids and local residents. Though organizers don't expect to make much money from it, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Hands of Christ Duluth Cooperative Ministry.
Notre Dame opened last fall with an enrollment of 200 students. Next year, it is expected to grow to more than 300 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.
"We have enjoyed getting to know the community that welcomed us so graciously last August when we first opened our doors," Principal Debra Orr said. "We hope that our Family FunFest will be a memorable day of family fun and entertainment that serves as a small 'thank you' to the people in and around Duluth that have supported our vision."